Help the enviroment with small farms

The software that equips family farms with data to unlock institutional markets, creating economies of collaboration.

1. Sustainability Problem: Sustainable Agriculture

Two critical problems: 1) extractive agriculture accelerating climate change and 2) wealth inequities faced by family farmers.

2. The solution

The Farm Fare creates a regional market that supports the economic viability of family farms, specifically those focused on regenerative agriculture practices.

  • They work to build coalitions among regional food hubs, encouraging these micro-distributors to come together to tackle the food system as partners rather than competitors;
  • They link neighboring hubs together with a platform that allows them to share information and resources and work collaboratively; 
  • They provide distribution service from hub to hub and from hub to wholesale customers within a region.

Source: “Farm Fare Wants to Help the Environment with Small Farms” TechOhio, https://weare.techohio.ohio.gov/2019/11/20/farm-fare-wants-to-help-the-environment-with-small-farms/

3. Stakeholders

Local goverments of agricultural areas who are looking to expand its local merchants to ensure that family farmers can receive federal tax credits.

Family farmers to access larger institutional markets, which supports rural livelihoods and incentivizes commodity and conventional growers to evolve their growing practices away from intensive plowing and chemical-based inputs.

Big companies in the food/hospitality industry who are seeking to reduce their enviromental footprint to supply their chains with local quality products.

4. Next steps

  • Farmers to invest in this new software and join this initiative to scale their agricultural capabilities
  • Organizations to plan and coordinate production on a regional scale.
  • Farmers to access larger institutional markets and gain exposure to promote local, sustainable and efficient products and supply chains

Returning “Oil” to the Earth

Charm Industrial’s “bio-oil” — a carbon-rich oil made from almond shells and other types of biomass

Peter Schott // pcs2144
(1) Sustainability Problem: Waste // Carbon
In order to curb the effects of climate change, it is essential to phase out fossil fuel use and decarbonize the economy more broadly. Carbon removal is one solution.

(2) Charm Industrial represents a significant change to reduce the cost from $600 to $50/ton CO2e while elimination 10%+ of global CO2e in the process.

  • Charm partners with farmers (who grow a lot of crops) that generate biomass waste, converting the left over biomass into “bio-oil”, drilling a well, and pumping the bio-oil underground; this achieves the removal of carbon from the atmosphere “permanently, reliably and potentially on a grand scale”
  • This is achieved through a process called “pyrolysis,” (read: organic chemistry) producing hydrogen (that can be used in refineries or to make fertilizer/power vehicles) and “bio-oil”
  • The modular Pyrolyzer can be put on the edge of the farm, reducing the need to transport the biomass outside of a local area; this technology has gained attention from Stripe and Microsoft

Source: Meet the startup producing oil to fight climate change, Grist

(3) Stakeholders

  • Fortune 500 companies and beyond: who are seeking to reduce their environmental impacts as they attempt to offset their corporate emissions through carbon removal opportunities. Stripe and Microsoft to name a few.
  • Nonprofits and academic institutions: to provide a third party assessment of the carbon removal projects (e.g, Carbonplan) and potential analysis around the broader carbon removal market.
  • Lobbyists/Government: to ensure that Charm Industrial can receive federal tax credits, as only CO2 gas is recognized as a CO2e carbon removal technique.

(4) Design/Implementation/Next Steps:

  • Raise capital from existing investors to scale manufacturing capabilities of the Pyrolyzer machine
  • Manufacture one machine and dedicate it to launching a pilot on a large-scale farm to collect data and conduct research; use biomass to create bio-oil and measure components on transporation, equipment cost, potential revenue, etc. to forecast the scale-up of the business
  • Meet with scientists and clients to share results of the pilot program to collect feedback, with the goal of creating a pitchbook for future investors

Drone Use for Sustainable Precision Agriculture

1) Sustainability Problem: Health

As the world population increases, the planet has experienced increasing demands in food production and consumption. Additionally, climate change is leading to agriculture loss. These phenomena put pressure on farmers and agronomists to use and manage their resources more effectively and efficiently in order to secure the health and well-being of the people the industry serves.

2) Article Title: “The Role of Drone Technology in Sustainable Agriculture”; Website Name: PrecisionAg TecHub; Article Link: https://www.precisionag.com/in-field-technologies/drones-uavs/the-role-of-drone-technology-in-sustainable-agriculture/

  • Precision agriculture practices including fine-scale monitoring and mapping of yield and crop parameter data help farmers exercise more intense and efficient cultivation methods. They can make decisions based on economic and environmental factors to boost yields and achieve cost and environmental savings.
  • Using drones with robust data analytics can be a powerful method of supporting precision agriculture practices. Drones can be used in a variety of functions:
    • Crop monitoring to plan and make improvements such as the use of ditches and evolving fertilizer applications
    • Accurately tracing products from farm to fork using GPS locations throughout the entire journey
    • Carefully monitoring large areas of farmland, considering factors such as slope and elevation, to identify suitable seeding prescriptions
    • Assessing crop fertility with high-resolution drone data to more accurately apply fertilizer, reduce wastage, and plan irrigation systems

3) Organizational Stakeholders

Stakeholders for drone technology in precision agriculture could include the following:

  • Local community members that may be concerned about privacy, especially if drones are collecting data very high level data (controlled airspace, around airports, individuals’ privacy)
  • Famers
  • Drone manufacturers
  • Software providers
  • Agricultural service providers
  • Agronomists

4) Implementation Process

Before implementing drone technology for precision agriculture purposes, agricultural professionals need to decide whether to train an internal team to fly the drones or to hire a third-party. There are cost considerations associated with this decision.

The parties using the drone need to assess regulations in the area before using the drones. Regulations vary by region and are constantly changing, so drone users need to make sure they comply with regulations involving controlled airspaces around airports or the privacy of individuals.

A technology evaluation must be completed to determine which type of drone with which software is best suited for the land in question. Since drones have so many uses and can collect so many different types of data, some types may be better suited for certain situations.